on vehicles to ensure they were safe. We will be organizing
similar checks in the future to ensure the safety of passengers
and we hope that we will see a greater number that are completely
fault free,' added CSO Austin.
Ross-on-Wye vehicle checks were followed up two-days later
by Operation Total, a larger scale initiative in Hereford
city centre, which saw checks take place during the course
of an evening on 50 vehicles.
police response officers were joined by Special Constables,
headquarters Roads Policing colleagues, Herefordshire Council
taxi licensing officers and VOSA vehicle examiners at the
Maylord Shopping Centre underground car park. Teams of 'spotter'
police officers identified suitable vehicles for checks
before escorting them to the car park where they could be
examined. Officers also used Automatic Number Plate Recognition
technology to identify cars for stop checks.
all the vehicles tested, only 20 percent were found to be
completely defect free. Three vehicles were issued with
immediate prohibitions for serious faults, including an
inoperative handbrake, headlamps and faulty tyres. These
vehicles were taken off the road straight away. A further
five vehicles were issued with delayed prohibitions for
defects including incorrectly tinted windows and non-compliant
exhausts. Four other defect notices were also issued for
vehicles with less serious issues.
officers issued nine further VDRS tickets requiring repairs
for a variety of defects, while three endorsable Fixed Penalty
Notices were issued for a vehicle with defective tyres,
a driver who ran a red light and the use of a mobile phone
while driving. Five non-endorsable Fixed Penalty Notices
were issued for a range of issues, including the non-wearing
of seatbelts and a vehicle with a missing front number plate.
Council's Taxi Licensing Officers were also able to carry
out checks on a number of taxis. Three warnings were issued
to vehicles for not having a first aid kit on board, or
failing to have insurance details or the driver's badge
on display. The majority of the taxis inspected were fault
evening was rounded off when the driver of one vehicle was
stopped for driving without headlights. He was then arrested
on suspicion of being under the influence of drink or drugs.
A quantity of cannabis was found inside the vehicle when
it was searched. The 27-year-old man was later released
Sarah Hughes, who organized Operation Total, said the initiative
had been a success. 'The aim of Operation Total was to deter
and detect antisocial driving, particularly within the city
centre area where we have received a number of complaints
from the public. By carrying out these checks, we have been
able to remove a number of unsafe vehicles from the roads,
as well as detecting a suspected drug-driving offender and
recovering a quantity of cannabis.
hope that this operation will help reinforce the importance
of ensuring that all vehicles are safe and roadworthy. Vehicles
in a poor condition are a causation factor in collisions
and we will be conducting further checks in the future with
our partners on these vehicles. Any vehicles in an unsafe
condition will again be put off the road, thereby preventing
Total forms part of West Mercia Constabulary's Seven Deadly
Sins campaign, which aims to highlight road safety issues
across the Force area. Seven key areas - the seven 'sins'
- have been identified as those which can significantly
increase the amount deaths, injuries and collisions on our
roads. They are: Drink and drug driving, Seatbelt safety,
Mobile phone safety, Speed, Motorcycle safety, Vehicle maintenance
and Poor driving.
Further information about the Seven Deadly Sins campaign
and additional road safety advice is available from the
West Mercia website at www.westmercia.police.uk.